Hi, I’m Katy Bindels. I’ve been a photography enthusiast since I got my first DSLR about eight years ago, just after my third baby was born.
I started just wanting to take nice pictures of my kids, but that quickly changed to wanting to learn as much as I could about photography and to take photos of anything that inspired me.
I think of myself as a creative portrait photographer. I love in-camera multiple exposures and other techniques like freelensing, prisms, reflections and shooting through different objects. I also love the timelessness of black and white photography, and a large portion of my work is in black and white.
Most of my work is ‘personal’ – my kids and self-portraits – but I do also shoot family and portrait clients.
When my third child (I now have four) was a newborn a friend offered to sell me her second-hand Nikon D60 that she was upgrading from. From there I have stayed with Nikon.
A couple of years later when that Nikon D60 sadly died I replaced it with a Nikon D5100. I learned a lot with that body and my kids are now learning photography using it. Eventually, I felt that I had outgrown the crop sensor, so moved to my current body, a Nikon D610.
I’m pretty minimalist with my gear. I almost exclusively use my Nikon D610 with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G. I often dream of having more equipment and lenses, but I think that my limited access to gear has really helped to push me creatively.
Nikon D610 – I’ve had this for a few years now. I chose it because I needed a full-frame, I was already using Nikon (and I had my Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens that I wanted to continue using) and it fitted the budget at the time.
GoPro 5 Black – We live near Brisbane, Australia, so we have great weather and my kids swim all year round. With the water and swimming being such a big part of our lives, I needed a camera I could take into the water to capture the kids doing one of their favourite activities.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8G – This is on my camera pretty much all the time. I find it so versatile and it works for most of what I want to create.
Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 – This I use when I need to go wide. I bought this lens when I was using the Nikon D5100 and it is for a crop sensor, so my camera acts as a crop sensor when I’m using it. A new wide-angle lens is my next planned purchase, but I use it so infrequently that I haven’t done anything about it yet.
I work with whatever light is available. I am often inspired to pick up my camera because of the light I see around me. Sunlight, window light, or ambient light.
I have a wonderful 3 Annies Audrey Lu camera bag. It is stylish, black (so it goes with anything), removable padding (to keep everything safe) and holds everything I need when I head out to take photos.
It also has both overarm straps and a long, adjustable crossbody strap, which makes it easier to use for long periods (like day trips out with the kids or family sessions). The layout of the bag also makes it very easy to take things in and out while on the move.
My tripod is an Inca i5315. I’ve had it since fairly early in my photography journey and didn’t really start using it very often until I started taking more self-portraits a few years ago. It came in a handy carry bag. It is also fairly lightweight, compact and easy to use.
Hardware & Software
For post-processing, I use Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, and Photoshop. Over the years I have developed my own ACR presets and Photoshop Actions (see guide) for what I want to achieve. I do adjust these for each image according to what is needed for each photo.
I usually also have a few little creative bits and pieces, like a glass prism or small copper pipe in case I feel the urge to change things up a bit.
For self-portraits I use a Nikon WU-1b to connect my camera to my phone so that I can use the Nikon WMU app to help with composition, setting focus and remote triggering each shot. I also love reflections and have a couple of small mirrors that I’ve bought for photos.
Otherwise, mosquito repellent, lip balm, tissues, my phone, and a bottle of water are all usually there as well. When I’m heading to a client session I also throw in a rug and a small foldable step stool.
Although I first started photography to take nice pictures of my kids, it quickly became much more to me than that. It is a way for me to make a record of my kid’s childhood for us. It is also a creative and artistic outlet for me. It is something that I can continue to learn and explore, and express myself.